Getting Potted for the Holidays (potted GARDENS that is!!)

Life in the desert is grand. Having the benefit of year-round gardening, we can plant as little or as much as we want. As the holidays are upon us, with a bit of imagination, we can add to our home’s celebration by sprucing up our container gardens to our heart’s content. Another excuse to ‘play’ outside in our gorgeous weather! 

You have many options to add to the holiday luster in your pots. Let’s explore some ideas, and you can mix and match as you please. 

Seasonal plantings that last all winter – perfect for the holidays

Whether you lean towards permanent plantings in your pots such as shrubs or trees or if you mix it up with perennials or only have annuals, you can plant your holiday color scheme now and your gardens with the right care will last until the heat of the early summer returns. 

For your Sun Plantings, add Red and White Annuals such as: 

  • Petunias 
  • Million Bells 
  • Stock 
  • Dianthus – try the newer variety of Amazon, a supertall Dianthus) 
  • Geraniums (part shade too) 
  • Diaiscia 
  • Nemesia 
  • Snapdragons (Whites and Burgundy – no red) 
  • Alyssum 
  • Lobelia 
  • Pansies and Viola (Whites and Burgundy – no red) 

Shade Plantings – Red and White Annuals: 

  • Primrose and Cyclamen are your best bets in full shade. Filtered sun is an excellent place for geraniums.  
  • Paper Whites, Poinsettias and Amaryllis are great nursery plants that you can use in pots during the holidays. If there is a dip in temperatures to 40° or below, you will want to bring them inside.

Advice for flower shopping:

Grab a cart at the nursery and an empty flat or carton and place your selections on the flat and then step back and look at it. Look at it hard and long and be sure it sits right with you. A 24” pot with one central planting will need approximately fourteen (14) “4” inch” plants. If you select any gallon plants, they can replace 3-4 smaller ones. I urge you to use 4” plants and not six-packs. 

 Important: When you go shopping and bring your plants home, water them in well and plant as soon as possible – as in the same day. If you have to wait until the next morning, place them in the shade to rest until the morning.

Permanent plantings 

Your existing shrubs or trees can stand alone as holiday décor. Heavenly bamboo leaves will turn red. Red-tipped Photinia’s new growth is red so if you fertilize it now, you might force it into growth resulting in those showy leaves just in time for the holidays.

Pyracantha and English Holly have red berries showing off right in time for your parties. Burgundy cordyline is another plant that can bring holiday cheer when decorated with other plants or objects.

Speaking of objects, take some of your decorations and embellish the plants. Use small holiday lights, bows, garlands, ornaments, pine cones or anything that catches your eye as you ‘deck the halls!’  


A Perfect Gift for the Holidays for any Gardener

A few members of our online community told me how they love my book, Getting Potted in the Desert. Get Marylee's Book, Getting Potted in the Desert Today!They have given the book as a gift to family members, the person who watered their plants while they were on vacation, their hair stylist who loves to garden and their friend who insists she has a black thumb. I’ve also had designers and realtors give my book to clients who are new to the desert or just are avid gardeners! I am blown away by the interest that continues for my book.

You still have time to order your copy or pick up a copy in Tucson or Albuquerque. Click on this link for the information. And Thank YOU. There is no better praise for an author than another book sells.

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Using Color in Your Desert Potted Garden

Desert Patio Garden with Blues and Yellows

Receive these free tips in your Inbox – Fill out the box in the column to the right and receive Marylee’s Top Tips to Desert Potted Garden Success!


 

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder… sometimes 

Color is the most prominent element in a garden design and typically the first one considered. Color is what draws us into a garden and often is what gets us out of the house onto our patio.  

When driving down the boulevard and you approach a bed of flowers, what draws your eye in? Color!! What I have experienced is that the first image of that bed is described as pretty. But when stopped in traffic and I have the time to really look at the garden, something clicks in my mind that this is just not working. What first is viewed as fun and exciting, can become exhausting when you sit with your coffee or cocktail ready to relax after a long day. 

 

Too many colors makes a potted garden too busy

Why doesn’t it work? Too many colors in one garden! 

Purple Osteospernums, Red Dianthus, Blue Pansies, White Allysum, and more – Oh My!


In choosing color combinations, we know what we like when we see it. However, sometimes we think a color combination will work when we choose the flower colors at the nursery but once they are home and planted, we wonder – what did I do wrong? 

We tend to buy what we like in the store. The rainbow of colors and shades attracts our attention and unless we have a ‘color agenda’ we don’t put the brakes on and try to coordinate our selections.

What not to do in your pots – Yellow Violas, Orange/Burgundy & White Snaps, Purple, Purple/White, Burgundy, Orange Pansies, White Allysum

Take a Moment

Step back to plan your potted gardens.  

I always suggest putting the plants that will go in one pot together on your shopping cart and then step back to look at them. Look long and hard. Stare at your combinations and see if it works as you view it with your critical eye. 

Ahhhh, such a difference. Yellow in Calendula, Violas and Nemesia, Blue in Pansies and White in Kale. With a Burgundy/Yellow Center Diascia.

Combining Color in your Desert Pots this Winter 

  1. Start with two colors that you also use in the room inside your home. Choose the room that also has a view of your pots.
  2. Add a contrasting color if you would like.

For instance, if your home is decorated in earth tones of rustic oranges, browns and green, begin with an orange. Green will enter the picture with leaves and stems. Then add either purple or yellow depending on how exciting or vibrant you want your color combination to be. 

Another example – if your room is decorated in primary colors, choose something like the blue and yellow and perhaps add red as shown in the lead photo above. 

The key is to put your plants together and if you like them – try it!  

The beauty of using potted gardens is that you can easily change your mind, try new combinations or take out one plant and substitute another without breaking the bank. Keep your money out of the compost heap – Happy Potting! … Marylee

I hope you stay in touch with me!

Feel free to send me your questions.

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November in Your Winter Potted Garden

Marylee's Container Gardening Class November 8, 10-11:30am at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Designing Winter Pots and Garden Rooms for the Holidays.

Register Now for Marylee’s Class

November 8, 10am

Tucson Botanical Gardens

 

Happy November! 

We are definitely headed into fall temperatures now and I hope they last more than a week.

Print this and put it on your refrigerator to remind you of your November Potted Garden Tasks!

Plant Your Winter Potted Garden Now!Get Marylee's Book, Getting Potted in the Desert Today!

If you haven’t planted your winter flowers yet, now’s the time! The nurseries are full of winter varieties and if you need some guidance, pick up a copy of my book, Getting Potted in the Desert as it has a full list of plants in the Resource section. 

If you already have a copy – Thank you!! Be sure to ask away if you have any questions, right down below in the comment section.

With your new garden planted, it is important to follow the checklist above and be mindful… 

Water

Make sure your new plantings are getting the right amount of water. Not too much, not too little. If you are in doubt, pick up a water meter from any nursery (shop local!) or garden department. Use this as your guide by poking the prong into the soil to the depth of your plants roots. It’s great to use a water meter on your shade and indoor plants too as we do tend to overwater them. 

Weather

Secondly, watch your local weather for freeze warnings and make sure you have your frost protection cloths available. Don’t use plastic or blankets that will get sodden with winter showers.  

HWinter Color in potsolidays

Lastly, as we approach the holiday season, be sure to keep up on your weekly potted garden tasks. You want to show off your pots to your family and friends over the holidays and healthy plants will do better when we get those nips of cold. 

Happy Potting! 

Marylee

Pot filled with Petunias in pink, White Allysum, Burgundy Snapdragons and Butterfly Iris

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Ahhh – October in your Potted Desert Garden

Hanging Baskets, Pots and Beds Create a Living Dividerin a Desert Potted Garden

If you have not realized it by now, I love potted desert gardens. They are so versatile in there uses, flexible in their placement and plantings and the bottom line – you don’t have to dig in the ground!!… Marylee Pangman, Potted Desert Expert

Stay on top of your garden tasks to keep your potted desert garden thriving 365 days a year with October’s list!

October's Potted Desert Garden Checklist


Don’t Build Walls – Create outdoor ‘rooms’ with potted desert gardens

Many patios are like bowling alleys. Many yards have no delineated areas. Some homeowners will build ramadas, patios, gazeboes and outdoor kitchens. All of these add to the hardscape of your property and in our desert homes – the HEAT!! 

I came to the realization years ago that you can create magic out of these scenarios with pots.  

The Walkway to a Secluded Side Yard Patio at a Desert Home

In my first Tucson home, we had a long walkway down the side of the house to the backyard. Not wanting to waste any space and shaded by the neighbor’s oleanders, we created sitting areas down this path and separated it with a trellis (made out of concrete reinforcing metal screening) and pots with vines (including a Tombstone Rose, Jasmine, and Tangerine Beauty CrossVine) that grew up the angled trellis.

Large Planters create a barrier at a Tucson restaurant patio

One of my restaurant client’s patio faced a parking lot. We created side by side concrete planters filled with Robelini Palms and Mexican Lime trees, underplanted with cascading flowers and herbs – to be used by the chef. 

Eding a Driveway with more than a railing

Red Geraniums accompanied by grey Dusty Miller and Red Yucca make this an easy care driveway screen

Above is a cool idea of a roundabout driveway that has a drop off if you don’t make the corner! The contractor put up a standard double railing to warn the drivers, but it looked pretty industrial. The planters are 48” wireframe hayracks with coco-fiber liners. Then we welded on decorative braces to assist in the planters’ stability. 

So you see, there are a myriad of ways you can use pots to serve as a function in your home. They allow you to work with a smaller budget and to have tremendous flexibility as we gardeners change our minds – as we tend to do.  🙂

Happy Potting!

Marylee


 Before you go shopping for your winter flowers,

Follow this Link

 

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4 Ways to Prepare for Cooler Temperatures in Your Desert Garden

Late Summer Potted Garden with Crepe Myrtle

September brings more mornings with temperatures in the low seventies and a nice breeze to your desert garden. What a relief! This always entices me to do some work outside – not only in the garden but also in my swinging hammock chair on my iPad. Nice!!!

On one of these mornings, I thought about how we really don’t use our desert patios as much as we could. I think we get so caught up in the heat and “It’s just too hot!” and then the winter cold which does happen now and then. We don’t have a habit developed to go out and just be.

I created this list of ideas as your temperatures allow you to venture outside, at least in the early morning hours:

Cozy Nook to enjoy a cup of teaIdea #1: Drink your morning beverage outside and contemplate even cooler days to come. What are your plans? Is there anything different you want to do in your pots this winter?

How about an “at home” holiday?

Don’t have a place that is comfy and cozy to do this? Take a weekend to relax, turn off the phones, spend time in the pool or curl up with a good book – what you might do if you were at a resort. With a little imagination, creativity and a couple of comfortable chairs, you can create a wonderful cozy seating area without bricks and mortar to enjoy on your ‘staycation.”

But before you go outside, get some healthy air inside! This is Idea #2. There are many reasons to open the windows – first and foremost – it feels and smells good!! Here are some other reasons to get those windows open!

  • It will help rid your home of toxic fumes.
  • It’s free – turn off your air conditioning for a couple hours and let your home soak up those cool breezes.
  • Your indoor plants will love you for it!
  • You will hear the birds and other sounds of nature.
  • Experts say that opening windows will improve your overall health.

And while we are talking about feeling good, consider Idea #3

Messy Patio with out of date potsReducing some of the clutter that might have accumulated in your yard over the past year(s). If you are not using some pots – donate them to a community or school garden. Old soil and fertilizer, broken tools, things you have collected over time and are tired of or you just don’t want/need them anymore – find new homes for them by donating them and toss what is of no value. I promise you that if you clean out the clutter, it will have many of the same effects as opening your windows!

Finally. Idea #4 – consider adding a new accent pot or piece of art to your favorite area. A new, cooler season might inspire you to treat yourself to something bright and cheery.Accent Pot

Trust me – it will continue to cool down so that you want to spend more time outside. Now is the time to dream a little and make some fun decisions about what’s next for your garden.


Additional Tips for Your September Desert Garden

Capture Rainwater-

And use it to water plants under your covered areas. Micro nutrients in the rain are great for potted plants!

Speaking of rain, too often desert homeowners make the mistake in thinking that a monsoon storm means they can cut back on irrigation or hand watering for their pots, gardens and other plants.

Desert Rain – Points to consider:

  1. It has to rain at least one (1) inch in order to saturate the root ball of your plants (get yourself a rain gauge so you know how much rain your yard has received)
  2. Pots under a Ramada, tree or overhang do not receive enough. if any rain.
  3. A deep soaking rain (more than 1 inch) received over a long time period (several hours) will only replace one day’s worth of pot watering.
  4. Pots in full sun with flowers and other ‘soft’ plants are accustomed to daily watering.
  5. A missed watering can cause your plants to get stressed and this invites problems including pest invasion and disease.
  6. If you have not received much rain, water your potted cacti/succulents now ~ Deeply!

What to Plant when your pots are just ugly:

Nurseries will have a fresh selection of annuals to replace those that have petered out. Zinnias, Marigolds, Vinca, and even Snapdragons, Dianthus and Petunias are all good choices that will carry your through October and the later three, all the way through winter with the right care.


Rose September Cut Back: 

This applies to all Hybrid Teas, Mini’s and Floribunda’s.

  1. Remove the top 1/3 of your roses and dead canes
  2. Selectively prune your climbers doing a lesser cut back.
  3. Clean up all the dead/fallen leaves, old mulch and debris.
  4. Reapply bark mulch around the roses.

Fertilize Citrus: 

  1. Check to see if you have fertilizer for your citrus trees.
  2. Fertilize citrus according to the instructions on the package this month.
  3. Water in deeply.
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Designing with a King in Your Potted Garden

This summer I have been showing off the “Silver King” Euonymus, a member of the Boxleaf family and very container-friendly and perfect for your potted garden. If you missed the previous column on the “King”, click here to check it out.

Designing for the “King” with a Court of Odd Fellows 

Too many colors in our potted garden will create havoc or confusion in our weary, heat-laden minds. Let’s return to this month’s theme of the rule of three and limit our choice in color combinations to odd numbers, and in this case the magic 3! 

 The picture above, featuring our plant of the month, the ‘Silver King’ Euonymus was already established in the pot. The silvery white and green glossy leaves stands out in our combination but the green is static in our combination and we will not count it as one of the three colors. With the white, I added strong contrasting colors including purple of Nierembergia ‘Purple Robe’ with the almost black leaf of the Black Pearl Ornamental pepper plant. The white is repeated in white ‘Profusion’ Zinnias as the bookends of the potted garden design.  

You can substitute purple Scaevola or Fan Flower for the Nierembergia. This will hold up better in the desert full sun. You can also use white Vinca for your white. You could also substitute yellow for the white – with either the Profusion Zinnias or Purslane. 

 Shopping for your Potted Garden Plants

As I always recommend, group your plants on a cart at the nursery and step back from them to see if you like them. You will be tempted to buy many other plants and flowers for your potted garden but keep in mind the heat and keep it simple. You can always go back another day! 

 

 

Happy Potting! … Marylee

 

 

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Sultry August in Your Desert Potted Garden

 The ‘OMG’ Month in Your Desert Potted Garden

It’s hot. It’s humid. Ugh. You don’t need me to tell you that. August is the month to take a break from many desert potted garden chores. The largest challenges are managing the weather and the needs of your garden.

You have the list here. Right click on it and print it out. Here are a few extra tips.

Hmmm… that’s funny – Tips!

Pot with top-heavy Bougainvillea is a high danger of blowing over.

i.e., Tipping pots

Heavy rains with blustery winds can endanger tall pots with narrow bases. When a storm is coming, be sure to

  • lasso them in
  • tuck them into corners or
  • put other, more solid structures around them.

 

 


Tip #2

Irrigation and Watering Your Pots During the Rains

Do not assume because it rains that you can stop watering your pots. Here’s some information from various weather sources:

  • Don’t forget to water your plants, even when it rains. … Even in wet seasons, watering helps, because roots need air to function, and a “cats and dogs” rain temporarily drives all the air out of the ground.

A ‘cats and dogs’ rain certainly applies to monsoon rains.

  • An inch of water should penetrate the ground at least 6 to 15 inches, depending on the soil type. Clay soils are denser, and water doesn’t penetrate as deeply as in sandy soils. Ideal garden soil will be moist 12 inches after an inch of rain.

I can hear you now – oh good! The local weather said we had an inch of rain! Did you have an inch where you live? Do you have a rain gauge near your pots? Or better yet, in one of your pots? Often we get a 1/4′ which is absolutely not enough for your summer flowers.

  • Soil on the dry side will take longer to absorb enough water to rehydrate itself. So that inch of rain is not going to do enough good to allow you to skip a day.
  • And speaking of skipping a day, if it rains that inch or more today, don’t assume it is good for tomorrow. Thirsty summer flowers usually need water daily so don’t skip. Check the soil. If it remains cloudy, you may not need to water on Day Two.

Don’t assume. Check your plants daily or you may be in for a very sad surprise.

Tip #3

Plant new plants in your desert potted garden only if you find good ones

Sometimes in August, the supply of new flowers is disappointing. If you have some plants in your pots that are looking really sad, pull them out and groom the bare soil spots.

Visit your favorite nursery and look for thriving Pentas, Summer Snaps (Angelonia), or healthy young petunias. If you don’t see something you really like, Wait! Talk to the staff and see when they think some fresh plants will be in. You want things that will be gorgeous throughout the fall.

If you have a copy of my book, check out the section on shoulder season plants. If not, click on the image to order one today!

Happy Monsooning! …. Marylee

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Hot Container Garden – Plant of the Month “Silver King”

“Silver King” can take any role in your summer desert pots 

To best survive the summer furnace in your desert container garden, I harp about the size of our desert garden pots. To support our illustrious hot garden plant of the month, your pot should be at least 24” wide. This width and similar depth will provide the structural support as well as insulation of the soil volume and subsequently, the root system of the plant.

To substantially fill this size pot, especially in the summer, I recommend looking at the Box Leaf family of Euonymus and this month, specifically, the Silver King Euonymus 

Silver Leaf CloseupThe ‘Silver King’ has eye-catching, silvery white edges with glossy green leaves that add uniquecolor and texture to your landscape.   

Variegated forms of the Box Leaf family are the most popular and are among the few shrubs to maintain their variegated leaf color in full sun in our hot summer climates.  The silver tones mix easily with other desert landscape plant materials and add a unique color and texture to your garden. The plant can serve as a stand-alone focal point or be surrounded by almost any contrasting color for instant beauty. With its upright growth habit, several pots can be grouped to form a low screen as demonstrated in this illustration photo with the “Silver King’ supported

 

Note in this illustration, that I also represented three pots of the ‘Silver King’ to demonstrate the screening ability of the plant.  These are underplanted with ‘Pacifica’ Vinca.

The theme for this summer is working your designs in odd numbers

– Hence a combination of three. If you were to pull the three pots apart, you could still maintain the odd number by having a single pot, splitting the pots in a group of two with a separation of the third, or group the three loosely. They do not all have to be planted the same, and probably should not be. We would not want our “King” to get bored with his royal court now, would we? 

Potted with Strawberry Fields Gomphrena, Deep Red Pentas, Red ‘Pacifica’ Vinca, and Orange ‘Profustion’ Zinnia.

Care of the ‘Silver King’ 

Tolerating any region with a dry summer heat is a challenge to all living things, but for your potted desert gardens, the Box Leaf shrubs (Euonymus) are a good bet. The plants will enjoy good potting soil but tolerate less rich soils and moderate watering. Since the shrub is easily pruned, it can serve as an excellent topiary specimen and if it has a solid center trunk, can be shaped up into a small tree over a couple of years.  

When you visit your nursery to select your plant, compare the size of a one-gallon plant versus a five-gallon plant in size. Be sure whichever you choose is well rooted. You should be able to see a few roots through the holes in the can. I suggest since they are not super-fast growers, you select the size that will give you satisfaction now!  

  1. Take the plant home and water it in well (so that water comes out through the holes in the can.) Prepare your pot by placing it its permanent location.  
  2. Fill your pot after covering the drainage hole with screening or a folded coffee filter. Bring the soil level up to about half way and then compress the soil.  
  3. Add a large handful of time-release fertilizer to the soil. Leave a cavity to place the root ball. 
  4. Carefully remove the plant from the can by turning it on its side, compress the can to loosen the root ball and then gently urge the entire plant out from the can being cautious to not tear the stems from the roots. 
  5. Loosen the root ball’s mass by opening it with your hands or a small trowel. You do not need to be overly cautious at this point. 
  6. Place the plant into the pot and add soil, making sure the result will place the top of the plant’s root ball about 2” below the top of the pot. 
  7. Add more soil and continue to pack it in around the root ball. Bring the new soil level up even with the top of the plant’s root ball. Do not bury the root ball under the new soil. Pack the entire mass firmly and water in thoroughly. 
  8. Be sure your newly planted shrub does not dry out. During the first two weeks, you may need to water daily and then, depending on sun exposure, heat levels, and wind, you might be able to drop back to every other day. 

Prune shrubs in spring after flowering (inconsequential) to maintain the desired shape and to remove green shoots that will sometimes pop up in this variegated variety. The proper way is to remove ¼ to 1/3 of the shrub each time it is pruned, forcing new growth to come from old wood deeper inside the canopy of the shrub.  This rejuvenates the shrub, adds more new growth to the canopy and keeps it young and vigorous.  

One of the main issues with this Euonymus is their tendency towards powdery mildew. Although it is less likely in the dry desert, reduce the chance by choosing a morning to mid-afternoon sun location with good air circulation and water the plant in the morning.  

Happy Potting!  …Marylee

 

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It’s a hot one – Desert Pots Care – July

July Container Garden Care in Dry Climates

Are we going to get a break? I don’t see any sign of monsoons now. Maybe as this reaches you, the weather will prove me wrong!

Pay attention to your desert pots and watering system; irrigation or human. 😉

 

Put this Checklist on your refrigerator so you do not forget your desert pots!

 


Get a Deal on Scheduling an In-Home Consultation with Marylee!


Reserve Now – Have your appointment when it cools off.

A design for 8 pots rather than 5

Two seasons of Designs rather than 1

Reserve Your Space Now before Prices Go Up

Delay your Appointment until September **

Secure your spot today as appointments are limited! Email Now! 


Get the help you need fast and easily right from your smartphone or tablet.  

Choose an area of your outdoors that has been a challenge for you. This area typically will be a covered patio, an entry, a section of your yard or a corner behind a pool. It is an area where you feel that pots will improve the look and give your home the added beauty you are looking for.  

Included in your consultation: 

  • A one-hour live session with Marylee through your phone’s lens. (Facetime or Skype – I can help you if you are unfamiliar with using these video tools) 

  • Immediate answers to pressing problems or challenges 

  • Recommendations for relocating and/or adding pots in your most challenging area.  

Following your consultation, Marylee will email the following within a week of your appointment: 

  • A simple drawing of the planned area with included pots numbered for easy reference 

  • Two custom designed planting plans for up to five Eight pots* 

  • A list of materials needed including optional materials that make your gardening experience more efficient and enjoyable 

  • A step-by-step action plan to guide you in completing your project 

  • An after-planting care guide to ensure your new plants get off to a good start.   

Price all inclusive – $125** for up to five eight pots.  

Marylee will give you an estimate for additional pot or planter designs. 

Next Step? 

Email Marylee to book your appointment today! Within a day or two, you will be sent a questionnaire to complete with the link to book an appointment. Your appointment will be billed at time of scheduling. 

**Offer expires September 1, 2018. Appointments must be booked before October 1, 2018.


I hope you stay in touch with me!

Feel free to send me your questions.

Happy Potting!

Marylee

Stay Tuned as I send out other tips this month for your summer pots. Receive your copy of Marylee’s Monthly Potted Garden News in your inbox by signing up below.

 

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Why the Number 3 is Perfect for Desert Container Gardens

 

Does your designer often specify grouping objects in three’s even in your desert container gardens?  

Do you ever ask yourself why?  

It really comes down to our brain. We like to pair things up. When we look at a several items, we rationally try to put them together in two’s. When we create a group of three, the eye is trying to find the pair so it keeps moving. This movement creates a flow and continual motion of our designs. Hence in a garden where our ‘art’ is living and breathing, we want to enhance that movement. Creating an odd number of pots in a group does the trick! 

Two Pots Can Create a formal look at an entry to your home

Pots Have Their Place in your Desert Container Gardens

If we want a more formal or contemporary look, we will want to design in a symmetrical fashion. Even numbers, arranged as pairs will form the structure that comes across more strongly. Two pots placed on opposite sides of a front gate or entry will create the intent that you want of your guest focusing on the entrance rather than passing it by. 

How does the odd number of pots help in our desert landscape design? Long walls and square pots add to the linear look of a back yard wall.

These pots to the left are filled with a single Yellow Daisy Bush (Euryops) and Red Geraniums. The planting is very mature. The Daisy was planted in the fall and the geraniums in the early spring in Oro Valley Arizona. The Geraniums will ‘peter’ out in the heat of the summer and be replaced with true summer annual flowers. ~ Marylee

Two Pots Are out

Where 2 Does Not Cut It

These two pots obviously are just not right against this wall. They stop us dead in our tracks. By adding a third pot—round in shape—and twisting the squares to change the angles, the result is much more appealing. Now you see the garden rather than the wall. 

Your First Step 

When you are ready to redesign an area and want to decide about adding some pots, place some large objects out where you think you might like to position the pots. Trash cans, propane tanks and buckets will serve you well without breaking your back to get an idea of what you like. Once you think you have it, go pot shopping with my mantra –‘ bigger is better!’  If your pots are going to be in full desert summer sun, choose pots that are at least 22” in diameter. These pots are larger than they appear on this long wall. The homeowner is just getting started with a desert container garden and wanted to start small. My Motto is you can always add more!

3 Pots break up the long wall

3 Pots break up the long wall

Same Pots after 3 weeks of growing

Same Pots 3 Weeks Later

 

 

 

 

 

 

The larger pots of this trio have pale yellow Petunias, a dot of red from a Pacifica Vinca and chartreuse Sweet Potato Vine. The shorter pot has red and white Vinca, purple Summer Snaps (Angelonia and Convolvulus (a type of Morning Glory) trailing in the front. This was planted in the late summer when flower choices become more difficult in the desert heat. However, all the plants will do well through the fall until temperatures go below 45. The Sweet Potato Vine will be the first to succumb to the cold. ~ Marylee

 

 

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Getting Potted In
The De
sert Book

Marylee Pangman shares her wealth of information gained from 20 + years creating successful Potted Gardens in the Desert